Iran has seized a foreign tanker suspected of carrying smuggled fuel in the Gulf, according to state media, marking the third such seizure in a month amid a spike in regional tensions.
The vessel was intercepted near Iran’s Farsi Island in the Gulf. The elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has a navy base on Farsi Island which is located north of the Strait of Hormuz.
The oil tanker was then transferred to Bushehr Province and its cargo delivered to the department of the National Iranian Oil Product Distribution Company in the same province
“The IRGC’s naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries,” told the officials.
“It carried 700,000 liters of fuel. Seven sailors on board of the tanker, who are from different nationalities, were detained.”
The state news agency said that the ship that was seized on Wednesday night belonged to Iraq.
But Iraq’s oil ministry denied the claim, saying it “does not export diesel to the international market”.
The US Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, said it did not have information to confirm the reports. Maritime tracking experts also said they did not have any immediate information about the incident or the vessel.
According to a commander, the ship had been carrying about 700,000 liters of fuel, about 185,000 United States standard gallons.